I have for several years now been collecting plåkan Chamoru or Chamoru vinyl albums.
Each week I scour the internet searching for records I haven't seen or heard yet.
Every few months I'm able to find a new one to fill in the gaps in my collection.
I have over the past few years been able to find four copies of this album "Dalai Nene" released by Johnny Sablan in 1968.
This was the first ever Chamoru language music album and was released when Johnny Sablan was just 20 years old.
I have collected four in all, one for each of my kids (three are already here, one more is a few months out from when I am typing this).
Each will inherit one of them when I pass away.
This album is historic in so many ways, but one thing for me makes it even more unique and special, namely its use of Chamoru for its text.
There are hundreds of Chamoru albums that have been released on vinyl, cassette and CDs.
And while all used Chamoru as the primary language for their songs, hardly any used Chamoru as the language for their text.
"Dalai Nene" doesn't just feature Chamoru music but the album text, where it gives credits and the dedication are also written in Chamoru.
The short dedication message that Johnny Sablan included on the back of the album, is even more powerful because it was written in Chamoru.
When the album was rereleased a few years later, the Chamoru text was gone.
It was replaced with English and even the inspirational message that I'm pasting below was gone, replaced by a supportive message from Governor Carlos Camacho.
Here for those interested in the text from the album in Chamoru, with changes in the spelling to match the more common ways of representing Chamoru today:
Håfa adai. Para kada kånta guaha estoria; para kada tåno’, guaha sedulå-ña.
Este na disco hu nå’i hamyo para en kompåti yan Guahu.
Este na disco mafå’tinas para todos na Chamoru ni’ maninteresao ni i sedulan i tano’-ta.
Siña ha’ ti parehu i instrumentos, sa’ otro na tiempo;
lao solamente i palabras ha nå’I hit hinasso ni’ manantigu siha na ekspirensia.
Hu måtka este na disco para todos i Chamoru ni’ manmåtai yan manlå’la’la’, hoben yan åmko’,
sa’ i intension-ñiha para u protetehi i tano’-ta yan i sedulan i tano’-ta.